104 LECTURES AND ESSAYS
do the right actions and avoid the wrong ones.
We also say sometimes, in answer to the
question, " How do you know that this is right
or wrong ? " " My conscience tells me so."
And this way of speaking is quite analogous to
other expressions of the same form ; thus if I
put my hand into water, and you ask me how
I know that it is hot, I might say, " My feeling
of warmth tells me so."
When we consider a right or a wrong action
as done by another person, we think of that
person as worthy of moral approbation or re-
probation. He may be punished or not; but
in any case this feeling towards him is quite
different from the feeling of dislike towards
a person injurious to us, or of disappointment
at a machine which will not go.
Whenever we can morally approve or dis-
approve a man for his action, we say that he
is morally responsible for it, and vice versa,
To say that a man is not morally responsible
for his actions is the same thing as to say that
it would be unreasonable to praise or blame
him for them.
The statement that we ourselves are morally
responsible is somewhat more complicated, but
the meaning is very easily made out; namely,
that another person may reasonably regard our
actions as right or wrong, and may praise or
blame us for them,